So if I want to travel to Belarus or Ukraine can I get by with Russian? Or do they speak their own languages there?

So if I want to travel to Belarus or Ukraine can I get by with Russian? Or do they speak their own languages there?

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  1. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Not sure if just bait, but the answer based on my experience is that Russian is just fine in Belarus, and historically worked in Ukraine as well; urban populations in both countries are overwhelmingly functionally bilingual, and one hears as much Russian as local languages on the street in some places. Ode(s)a is historically a majority Russian-speaking city, and it used to be soemething like 50/50 in Kyiv, with a lot of native Ukrainian speakers using hybrids of the two languages for much of their daily conversation. With anti-Russian sentiment running predictably high in Ukraine nowadays, it might not be as welll received as it once was, but you will still be understood by nearly everyone, and most people in most parts of the country can still respond in kind, even if they don’t want to.

    And I assume it still helps to not actually be Russian—when I was in Georgia, I spoke Russian with a number of older people without any hostility or problems, but also witnessed people spitting on the ground and denouncing actual Russians as pigs.

    Belarus is still friendly to Russia and much of the educational system is still Russian-medium, so I doubt most people will even notice, and will just reply in Russian.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      >And I assume it still helps to not actually be Russian
      According to every single Ukrainian I've asked while planning my trip, it does help.

      They aren't moronic. Yes, they hate Russia (even the Eastern Ukrainians, who have been forced away from their homeland by the war, it has done wonders for Ukrainian nationalism) but they know it's much easier (in terms of finding teachers, practicing, input material, etc) and more useful for a foreigner to learn Russian. What they've advised me to do is start the conversation in English, then switch if they don't understand you. That way there's no chance you'll be confused for the enemy.

      Also worth learning a few Ukrainian words and expressions and mixing them into your speech, this is called surzhyk and many people from central and eastern Ukraine who've moved to the western part due to the war speak like that.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        Belarus yes but Ukraine isn't fond of using Russian in the nice areas

        unless OP is going to Lviv he should be fine with Russian. Their own president’s first language is Russian, gimme a break with this shit already. it’s funny to me that it’s taking westoids this long to accept russian is overwhelmingly spoken in ukraine, just accept it already

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          >But they have HEKKIN folk dresses! And I finished one lesson of Duolingo Ukraine! Slava!

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          It is and isn't. As I said, since the war even Easterners have started learning and switching to surzhyk or proper Ukrainian - Zelenskyy included - out of a newfound sense of national pride or pure and simple spite. One of the people who told me this, in fact, is a friend of mine from Donetsk and has done this herself after moving westwards.

          Still, it won't be a problem for a foreigner. So long as you signal you are not Russian and you don't think Russian and Ukrainian are the same language beforehand, you should be fine, even in Lviv.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            There’s no chance that anybody will think you are Russian if you speak accented, broken Russian phrases to them. When I was there I joked with people that Russian and Ukrainian are pretty much the same language anyway and the reaction was just feigned offense. This was in 2018 though. Nowadays it’s probably not a great idea to say that.

            • 3 months ago
              Anonymous

              I made the joke that Russians and Ukrainians are basically the same in China in 2015 and feel weird about it.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Belarus
      >Ukraine
      >russian
      Totally bait. What else would it be?

  2. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Ukraine will be tough, just explain you aren't Russian and don't know Ukrainian yet.

  3. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Belarus - yes. Unless you're in the deep countryside - everyone knows Russian well.

    Ukraine:
    * West - maybe, but you're probably going to get murdered for it.
    * East - absolutely, Russian has been the primary language there since forever. Except good fricking luck entering Eastern Ukraine as a foreigner and somehow convincing Russian army that you're not yet another western mercenary

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      >going to get murdered for it.
      *By someone swearing at you in Russian

  4. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    they speak russian

  5. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Just explain that "You're all churkas to me" and ask what oblast you're in. And when they ask "oblast of what?" say "The Soviet Union", and then apologise and clarify that you meant the Soyuz Sovyetskikh. And then if they're confused or get angry at you, fumble for a second and try "Ruski Mir?" and then smile like you recalled it and start singing the Russian anthem. And if they're offended by it switch to Feindesland.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      Peak schizo. I love it.

      https://i.imgur.com/VoTCQKz.jpg

      So if I want to travel to Belarus or Ukraine can I get by with Russian? Or do they speak their own languages there?

      They do. Ukranians and ~~*White*~~Russians speak as much Russians as Americans do English.

  6. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Belarus yes but Ukraine isn't fond of using Russian in the nice areas

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    If you're gonna be in Ukraine in the summer, do you wanna meet up?
    t: someone who lived in Ukraine for 3 months in 2023
    disc: barrrelriderr

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Sorry, I'm gonna be there in spring

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      How old are you? Why will you be in Ukraine?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        not him, but I've been volunteering there with an NGO. Currently back in the EU

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